In PSG’s opening encounter with Clermont Foot, the Parisian side’s superstars stole the show
Neymar celebrates with Achraf Hakimi after scoring a goal during the French L1 soccer match between Clermont Foot and PSG. Photo/AFP
An unplayable Neymar scored a goal and three assists to lead the defending champion Paris Saint Germain to a 5-0 victory at Clermont in the French league on Saturday.
Lionel Messi also made a big contribution with two goals and an assist.
Neymar confused Clermont with his movement and skills. In the seventh minute, he pounced on a low cross from Achraf Hakimi to deflect an early effort by Alidu Seidu.
Two minutes later, Pablo Sarabia returned the ball to Messi, who sent it back to Neymar. The Brazilian striker controlled the ball before burying it in the bottom corner.
PSG took advantage of a quick break in the 26th minute when Neymar found Achraf Hakimi, who fired into the top corner. Neymar scored the third goal with an accurate free kick for Marquinhos, who headed home in the 39th minute.
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On the stroke of half-time, Neymar fed Messi, whose shot was saved by goalkeeper Mory Diaw.
PSG slowed down a bit in the second half against a Clermont side that narrowly avoided relegation last season.
Messi still made it 4-0 in the 80th. He played a one-two with Neymar before scoring with a low strike. The Argentine superstar sealed the victory in the 86th minute by shooting a ball over Leandro Paredes to score with an overhead kick.
“What I liked was the team’s desire to win the ball back very quickly, to play with a lot of intensity,” said PSG coach Christophe Galtier. “Leo reacts very quickly when losing possession, and Ney also made efforts in his defensive positioning to help the team stay very compact and get the ball back.”
Chasing a record 11th league title, PSG missed Kylian Mbappe, who is nursing a groin problem, and Renato Sanches, who was signed on Thursday and lacked fitness.
PSG have excluded from their matchday squad some top players they would like to remove: Mauro Icardi, Julian Draxler, Ander Herrera, Idrissa Gueye, Rafinha, Thilo Kehrer and Layvin Kurzawa.
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